A Halloween Flash Fiction
The Seed of Life (Flash Fiction #1)
A depressed jack-o-lantern, who wishes to know the meaning of life, tries to get back home after being kidnapped by teenagers on Halloween’s night.
Categories: Halloween, Pumpkin, Adventure, Spooky, Philosophy, Tragedy. [1,547 words]
Publication Date: October 26th, 2015
“Hi, my name is Jack, and I want to die.”
The reason behind my suicidal statement came from my empty shell; I was nothing but hollow, emptied of my seeds, the life I had once had as a pumpkin. Henceforth, I had no reason to live, and my life had no meaning. I was nothing.
I sighed, and looked at the street in front of the house I was decorating, where leaves were been blown away by the gust of wind. Everywhere, little monsters were running from house to house as they screamed, in such a horrible acute voice: “Trick or treat!”
“Trick, trick!” I kept yelling at Old Monster in the house, but he never listened to me; he kept giving treats to these monsters.
Then, really loudly came a group of teenage monsters, laughing and kicking objects that did not belong to any of them. If only my body was still full of seeds, I would have fired some at them, and pretended Old Monster was responsible to have hurt their heads.
“Look at that jack-o-lantern,” shouted, mouth full of candies, the biggest monster of those three. “It is sooo ugly. Let’s ease its pain.”
“Yeah!” cried all-together these monsters, before one of them rudely took me in its arms and brought me away from home.
I sighed. Finally, my wish to die would come true. My hollow life would be over soon.
When darkness had already fallen from the sky, the teenage monsters brought me to a park where they put me on the ground, next to a set of swings that were gently being pushed by a ghostly wind. I let out a deep sob as I thought about my horrible life.
I remembered being snatched away from the field and brought to a house where two monsters, Little Monster and Mother Monster, emptied my belly from all my seeds, laughing and playing like my suffering was the cause of their happiness. I remembered their cries of delight after tasting my sweet seeds, a joyful ritual before cutting a face into my pumpkin skin, a face filled with madness and three-side craziness. And, I remembered being fed to the coldest of weather once their evil deed had been perpetrated with success.
One of the teenage monsters raised a bat in the air—the tall wooden stick, not the friendly animal whose wings were as pointy as my newly-carved teeth—and prepared to smash my body into million pieces.
My last memory of Little Monster came haunting my thoughts like a ghost haunting a house. I remembered Little Monster smiling at me every time it walked those stairs back home. “Good afternoon, Jack,” it would greet me with its brightest smile that made the weather a little warmer. “Did you have a good day?” it would sometimes shout in a hurry, feet climbing up the stairs like a proud spider. “Take good care of the house while we’re gone,” it would utter when leaving the house with Mother Monster.
Suddenly, something inside of me changed. “Wha—? What’s happening?” I asked myself before I realized that my emptiness had been replaced by… “A seed?”
I saw the bat coming right at me.
That seed needed protection, no bat shall destroy this perfection. Now or never, I had to take action!
I rolled towards my executioner and jumped on its feet in order to squeeze its toes to a pulp. “Ouch!” it screamed in agony, confusion quickly being drawn on all of these monsters’ face. “What happened?” yelled another one. “I happened!” I roared with all my might. However, before the time to show my claws had arrived, a monster wearing a blue uniform appeared in the shadows, and made the teenage monsters run in the depth of the night.
At last, I was a free pumpkin.
As I hurried away from the park, jumping towards the sidewalk of a chaotic street, I came to the realization that I was now lost in this labyrinth of machinery and monsters. “Please, could you tell me where is located my home,” I inquired some, asking for direction. Alas, all the little monsters ignored my affliction.
But, why was I trying so hard to return to a place full of monsters that loved me for who I was not? What was the meaning of my life? “Purrr,” sang a black cat who rubbed his fury body against my pumpkin skin, “I know the location of your purrr-fect home.”
“Cat, tell me, what is the meaning of life?”
“To play, play!” he purled, rolling his body to the side and pushing the pumpkin I was with his paw. Then, he hastily jumped back on his four legs. “What is that purrr-licious smell?” he inquired, turning around me like a predator before dinner time. “Let’s make a purrr-ific deal. In exchange for my help, your purrr-licious seed should become mine.”
My seed? My token of my new life? Never!
I started jumping away, but the cat scratched my skin with his sharp claws. Playtime was definitely over. “I want to play with that seed!” he roared. “Here you are, sweetie pie,” said a monster, hands grabbing the cat. “No! That seed is mine!” he yelled, slowly leaving my sight against his will.
I jumped inside a cedar hedge, and stumbled upon a spider’s web. “Indeed, you look lost,” conveyed the spider in a tiny voice about her impression of my condition.
“Could you tell me where my house might be?” I politely requested.
“Yes, indeed, indeed. Follow me.”
“Spider, tell me, what is the meaning of life?”
“To eat more, and more!” she shrieked, rushing through my mouth and stealing my most precious treasure. “Hungry, hungry,” screamed her hundred babies. Why did everyone want my possession? My reason to exist? “That seed will feed my family well, indeed,” she exclaimed, imprisoning my body inside a freshly-made cobweb.
“Gwah ah ah! Honey, I’m home!” sang a witch with her nasal voice, fingers grabbing the spider by one foot. “You will make a delicious soup,” she agreed, putting the spider inside a paper bag. “No, mommy, mommy!” cried the hundreds of hungry babies. “Ah, what is that?” inquired the witch as she saw me, defenseless and desperate. “A poor little pumpkin wrapped inside a spider’s trap!”
But, before the witch grabbed me, I tore my prison apart, and swallowed my seed back into my belly. “A soup and a pie, my dinner shall be delightful, if only I had butter!”
In the witch’s arms, I was being brought towards harm’s way. I tried to escape her grasp, but to my greatest mistake; she had found the seed that had given me a glimpse of hope.
“What are you hiding, little pumpkin? A seed!? Gwah ah ah; I shall make more pumpkins and sell them all to the wealthiest of witches!”
“Witch, tell me, what is the meaning of life?”
“To be rich! Gwah ah ah!” she evilly laughed as I struggled to loosen her grip. I did not have time to lose, Halloween would be over soon. “No, no, no, little pumpkin. Your place is inside my stomach.” Rage took control of my skin, madness of my mouth. “My name is Jack!” I shouted before biting her fingers with my pointy teeth. “Gwah!” screams the witch, her hand tightly holding her painful fingers. I felt on the ground, where the shock created a bump, a battle scar, on one of my cheeks. But, the pain did not matter as long as the seed remained safe and sound.
During my drifting moment, a ghost appeared in front of me. “Thisss isss the wayyy to gooo,” gloomily indicated the ghost, his transparent finger pointing towards the unknown. Should I trust him? “Comeee quicklyyy.” I decided to follow this specter because, strangely, my seed did not seem to trigger his envy. After a few desperate jumps, home I had finally reached.
“Ghost, tell me, what is the meaning of life?”
“To liveee,” he simply answered before vanishing into the light.
I rushed towards the house, my unique seed bouncing inside my belly. Only a few jumps, and I shall return to my rightful place on the porch. I could even see Little Monster crossing the street, smiling brightly at its bag of candies. I could also see this speedy machinery, quickly drawing nearer Little Monster that did not seem to believe its life was in jeopardy. “Careful!” I yelled as I pushed Little Monster on the sidewalk, right before I heard a deep crashing noise. What made that horrible sound?
Pieces of my body were now lying everywhere on the street, my former emptiness destroyed by my imminent death. But, did I not want to die?
No. I wanted to live.
Death appeared in front of my remains, scythe ready to bring my soul to the heavenly field.
“Death, tell me, what was the meaning of my life?”
“Was it not obvious?”
“Thank you, Jack,” whispered Little Monster before Death took my soul between his hands. Then, Little Monster picked up my unharmed seed, and put it inside its pocket.
“That’s right! My name is Jack, and I can ascertain that I will always live…”